HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Christmas season can be a difficult time for children receiving care in a hospital, and no one understands that more than those who went through the same struggle.
That is why two former South Texas Health System patients take time out of their own lives to ensure that those children who are not home for the holidays do not miss out on that Christmas cheer.
Isaac Garza, 12, and Angel Quintanilla, 24, have both experienced Christmas time at the hospital. Garza, who has Kawasaki disease, founded Isaac’s Angels Toy Drive and has now been benefiting STHS Children’s for six years. Quintanilla, who has been receiving treatment for his cerebral palsy at STHS for most of his life, has been collecting toys every year for the past 17 years.
The two collected nearly 2,000 toys for the children at STHS, which they dropped off earlier this week, STHS wrote in a press release.
“At 7 years old, he was so determined to go back and give a toy to every child, and his enthusiasm for this drive only grows with each passing year,” said Isaac’s Mother Laura Gomez-Garza.
“I am so blessed and honored to be helped by an amazing community,” Quintanilla said. “It’s overwhelming and wonderful. I hope that we can brighten up the patient’s day, even if it’s just for a little while. I hope that we can make them smile and spread some holiday cheer.”
The toys are distributed by the hospital’s Child Life department, which assists in helping children and their families understand and cope with their experiences.